Shadows in the Skull

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"Shadows in the Skull"
Shadows in the Skull.jpg
Author L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter
Country United States
Language English
Series Conan the Barbarian
Genre(s) Fantasy
Published in Conan of Aquilonia
Publication type Collection
Publisher Ace Books
Media type Print (Paperback)
Publication date 1977

"Shadows in the Skull" is a short story by American writers L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter, featuring the fictional sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian created by Robert E. Howard. It was first published in the February 1975 issue of the magazine Fantastic, and was first appeared in book form by Ace Books in the paperback collection Conan of Aquilonia in May 1977, which was reprinted several timesthrough 1994. The first British edition was published by Sphere Books in October 1978.

Plot summary[edit]

Aided by Zembabwean Wyvern-riders and black Amazons, King Conan of Aquilonia and his son Prince Conn track their arch-foe, Stygian sorcerer Thoth-Amon, to the extreme southern end of the Hyborian continent.

The sorcerer has taken refuge with the last remnants of the evil Serpent Men, shape-changers who have menaced mankind throughout its prehistory. Conan's host locates their skull-cave redoubt, only to fall victim to their ploy of emulating beautiful Stygian women.

His final battle with Thoth-Amon in the sorcerer's own domain proves as hard-fought as their previous encounters, but is ultimately successful at ridding the world of the fiend. It is in fact Conan's 13-years old son Conn who deals the death blow to his father's old arch-enemy.


Preceded by
"Red Moon of Zembabwei"
Complete Conan Saga
(William Galen Gray chronology)
Succeeded by
Conan of the Isles